Monday, June 28, 2010

Brownie Cupcakes

I've been craving for chocolate lately & the best way to satisfy it? Brownies of course!! This recipe is really sweet, rich and luscious. It's crusty outside, soft, gooey & oozing with chocolate inside. Definitely not for the faint-hearted! You've been warned. Do not try this recipe if you're on a diet or trying to lose weight. It's so addictive it's almost impossible to stop a one. And why brownies in the form of cupcakes? Simply coz I didn't have an 8inch square pan. =)

(makes 9 cupcakes)
- 110gm butter
- 110gm chocolate
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

- preheat oven to 180 deg c
- melt butter & chocolate over hot water, stir well
- remove from heat, stir in salt, sugar & canilla
- in separate bowl, lightly whisk eggs
- add eggs to chocolate mixture
- stir in nuts & flour
- pour batter into cupcake mold, filling 3/4 of the cup
- bake 30mins till top is shiny
- cool on a rack

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fluffy Pancakes

It's a lazy Sunday morn and I thought I'll cook up something simple for breakfast before heading out to church. I still have caramel sauce left over from my ice cream making last week. So I've decided to make pancakes to go with it. I found this slightly different recipe where you whisk up the egg whites then fold it into the main batter. It gives a really light & fluffy pancake. I also made some whipped butter to go with the pancakes. I'm not sure why but the whipped butter has a stronger favor but yet it feels very light at the same time. Totally yummy!! =) Fat cheeks alone ate 3 pancakes! Hubby enjoyed it too, he says no need to order Hotcakes from McD le! =)

(Makes about 10 small pcs)
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp sugar

- sift dry ingredients
- in separate bowl mix yolks, milk, melted butter till smooth
- make well in dry ingredients, add wet ingredients all at once
- stir till just combined
- whisk egg whites & gradually add in sugar till soft peaks form
- fold egg whites in to batter, add more milk if too thick
- heat pan, smear with a little butter then cook pancakes

Whipped butter:
- 110g butter, soften to room temperature
- 2 tbsp milk

- add milk to butter, whisk at slow speed
- when it's well combined, whisk at high speed
- store in fridge when not in use

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Vanilla Ice Cream Charlotte Cake

Happy Father's Day! To celebrate today, I've attempted to make a Vanilla Ice Cream Charlotte Cake using the ice cream I've made yesterday. I baked basic sponge cake for the base & the sides. I then pipe hazelnut cream, which is just mixing Nutella & whipping cream on top & finishing it off with assortment of nuts in the middle which I've stir fried in butter with a sprinkling of brown sugar. I'm quite pleased with it and am keeping my fingers crossed that it will taste good. We'll be enjoying the cake with my in-law's this evening. My concern is that the ice cream melts pretty quickly. Let's hope it get there in one piece.

The cake turned out fantastic! Everyone was impressed. =) The sweet crunchy nuts complemented the cake very well. Should have added more. Next round I'll try something fruity. Forgot to add that the ice cream was pretty smooth & creamy. Probably not as velvety as a machine churned one but nevertheless it tasted great.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Handmade Vanilla Ice Cream

I'm proud to present my very 1st handmade ice cream! I've been longing to make ice cream for ages but didn't think I could have done it without an ice cream maker till I came across this recipe book "Making Ice Cream & Iced Desserts". I actually bought this book some time ago during a book sale but didn't do any serious reading till recently. Only then I discovered the recipes actually gave instructions for making ice cream by hand as well. So eagerly I tried the most basic recipe today. The recipe uses vanilla pods which I'm sure will give the ice cream a superior taste. I didn't have any so I used pure vanilla essence. It still tasted great
. I served my 1st scoop to hubby with a drizzle of caramel sauce & a small heart shaped sponge cake. A prelude to tomorrow's surprise! =)

- 1 vanilla pod
- 300ml milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp corn flour
- 300ml whipping cream

- slit vanilla pod into half, lengthways
- pour milk into pot, add vanilla pod & bring to a boil
- remove fm heat & allow pod to sit in milk for 15 mins
- scrape vanilla seeds into milk, set pod aside & bring milk to a boil again
- whisk egg yolks till thick & foamy
- pour milk into eggs, whisking constantly
- return mixture into pan, cook over low heat, stirring all the time
- when custard thickens & is smooth, allow to cool & chill
- whip cream until thicken
- fold into custard & pour into freezeproof container
- freeze for at least 6 hours or till firm enough to scope
- in between the 6 hours, beat ice cream with a fork to break up ice crystals at least twice.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Custard Puffs

The weekends are here and I'm so eager to start baking! This time I've decided to try my hand at custard puffs. This is the 1st time I've made choux pastry and I have to say I'm pleased with the results. They puffed up nicely and are light & airy. The custard is also good; rich and velvety. Hubby likes it much. I'm still waiting for my precious Fat Cheeks to wake up from her nap to try the puffs & give me her verdict. I'm already thinking of cream cheese filling for my next batch of puffs. =)

Custard Cream:

- 150ml of milk
- 150ml of double cream
- 1tsp of vanilla essence
- 4 egg yolks
- 45g sugar
- 25g flour
- a big dollop of butter

- beat egg, sugar & flour till well combined
- bring milk & cream to a boil
- remove from heat
- slowly pour milk into egg mixture, whisking the mixture all the time
- return to low heat stirring till it thickens,
- add vanilla essence and butter, mix well & leave to cool

Choux Pastry:

- 50g flour
- 50g unsalted butter
- 150ml water
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- icing sugar for dusting

- preheat oven to 200 deg c, line tray with baking sheet
- combine water & butter and bring to a boil in saucepan
- turn to low heat, shift in flour
- mix well with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball that comes away from the sides of the pan
- turn off heat, gradually beat in eggs till smooth & glossy
- add vanilla extract
- pipe batter on to baking sheet, spaced well apart
- bake for 25mins or until well risen & golden
- make a slit in the middle & return to oven to dry out for another 3 mins
- remove & cool on wire rack
- when cool, fill with custard & dust with icing sugar

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blueberry Butter Cake

It's a lovely Sunday today and I managed to sneak some time to bake this Blueberry butter cake! So happy =). Blueberries were on sale when I went grocery shopping on Friday. I went ahead to get them keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to do some baking with them during the weekend. I browsed through my library of recipes and found this. It's a simple recipe and Fat cheeks enjoyed creaming the butter & sugar. The end product is not bad but I thought it tasted a little eggy. Next round, I will try adding a tsp of vanilla essence and maybe a little lemon zest.

- 225g butter, soften
- 160g castor sugar
- 5 eggs
- 200g cake flour, sieved
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 125g fresh blueberries

- grease an 8inch round pan
- preheat oven to 180 deg c
- cream butter & sugar till pale & fluffy
- add eggs one at a time (ensure the egg is properly incorporated into batter before adding next egg)
- fold in flour
- pour half the batter into pan, arrange half of the blue berries on batter
- pour rest of the batter over blue berries then top with balance of blue berries
- bake on lower rack for 40mins
- cool cake then remove from cake pan

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chicken Mayo Sandwiches

We decided to visit the zoo today. Knowing that there are not much choices not to mention pricey food at the zoo, I decided to make a simple fare to bring along with us. On the menu: Egg mayo and chicken mayo sandwiches, smiley potato, baked karaage, fried rice and a big tub of water melon. Simple but great for a picnic. I especially like the chicken mayo.

Here's my version of it:

- 1 chicken breast
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 3 tbsp of mayo
- 1 tbsp of sour cream
- 1 small white onion, diced
- salt & pepper to taste

- poach chicken in stock with celery and garlic
- when chicken is cooked, cool & shred
- brown onion with a little oil, cool
- mix chicken, browned onion, mayo & sour cream well
- season with salt & pepper